Saturday, January 03, 2009

New Story at Beat to a Pulp

You can read it here.

A Tribute to Donald Westlake

David Laurence Wilson sent me this one.

Oh boy, this one hurts. Westlake and I had several friends in common
and all spoke affectionately and respectfully of him, always. His
personality was as large, it seems, as the shadow from his prose.
Everyone else was in second place. I very much hoped to meet him
and add him to my series of interviews with crime writers but we were
never in the same place at the same time. A great writer who may
be my all-time favorite, who convinced me again of the undying beauty
of the novel and the mystery form. For many years there's been no
one who I'd seek out in the bookstores like Westlake. A new Stark
was an event for me. Just a great great loss. I have so few heroes

Death seems to have greeted him as a professional, swift and sudden,
without emotion or hesitation. A Westlake moment. Despite his
subjects, and the controlled mayhem of his characters. Westlake was a
writer of elegance and compassion. I was pleased last week because
I'd found a copy of his first novel. I was going to quote from
another of his books but I've pulled it out often enough that it
wasn't filed with its cousins, a book he did not claim but that I
returned to, on occasion, because it filled me with a great sense of
compassion. It consoled me and made some of life's challenges easier
to bear.

This is the life of a writer. You will touch the lives of those you
have never met. You will help them through their own private hells
and they will weep, someday, when you are gone.

I'll have to go and reread some of my favorite memories with the
guy. He left us so much.

Books Quiz of 2008

Books quiz of 2008 | Books |

My score was 19.

Friends of Ed Bryant

Friends of Ed Bryant: "Over the last few years, Ed has fallen on hard times due to financial complications from his heart bypass surgery in 2004, a limited income stream, and predatory actions by individuals who took advantage of Ed's kindness. At one point, Ed (who is also a Type-I diabetic) did not have funds available to purchase insulin and was in danger of foreclosure on his house. Thankfully, friends and caregivers stepped in to handle those troubles, but Ed is still facing a long uphill battle to satisfy his financial and medical responsibilities."

If you want to donate, there's a PayPal button at the link.

Will The Persecution Never End?

Man faces drug charges for cocaine, Viagra, links himself to Paris Hilton | NSW/ACT | "
# Driver pulled over by police
# Claims he's on way to pick up Paris Hilton
# Cocaine, Viagra allegedly found"

Johannes Mario Simmel, R.I.P.

The View From Graustark: Johannes Mario Simmel, R.I.P.: "German-language novelist Johannes Mario Simmel died New Year’s Day in a care home/clinic in Zug, Switzerland. He was 84."

A thriller writer whose books in this country were published under the single name Simmel.

Have We No Rights Left?

Man arrested for farting // Current: "SOUTH CHARLESTON, West Virginia (AP) — A West Virginia man who police said passed gas and fanned it toward a patrol officer has been charged with battery on a police officer."

(Movie) Monsters in the Sewers

World of watermains fertile ground for horror directors’ imaginations – Daily Commercial News: "When movie makers seek an otherworldly setting that’s close to home, they often choose water and wastewater conduits. Fantastic films take special delight in populating the water system with giant bugs and aliens, but the films have industry critics, notably Frank Zechner, Executive Director of the Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association."

The Next Big Thing?

New Year 2009: Leading thinkers offer predictions of 'next big thing' - Telegraph: "A 101-strong group of scientists, authors, musicians, philosophers and other respected experts were posed the question 'What will change everything?'

Their task was set by Edge, an online intellectual discussion group, which claims its membership comprises 'the most interesting minds in the world'.

The responses spanned new methods of energy production, the dawn of telepathy, freely available artificial intelligence and the colonisation of the Milky Way."

The Little Sleep -- Paul Tremblay

If Philip K. Dick and Ross Macdonald had collaborated on a mystery novel, they might have come up with something like The Little Sleep. Mark Genevich is a p. i. in south Boston. As a result of a serious car wreck, he's disfigured. And he's narcoleptic. You might think that would be enough of a handicap for a p. i., but one of the symptoms of narcolepsy is cataplexy, brought on by stress. So imagine yourself confronted by, say, a guy with a gun. You slide off your chair to the floor and lie there, conscious but unable to move. Not a good situation. But it gets worse. Another symptom is hypnagogic hallucinations, so you're never sure if things have actually happened or if you just imagined them. Makes it tough to solve a case.

But Genevich has a case, and it's a big one. It involves photographs that someone brings to his office, photographs that someone else wants to get his hands on. And there's a mysterious "it" that Genevich is supposed to find. He doesn't know what "it" is because of the hallucinations, but it has to do with Genevich's father, who's been dead since Genevich was five. Digging into the past can be dangerous for a guy with normal sleep patterns. For Genevich, it's double tough.

I've never used the phrase "new noir" before, but I think I will now. The Little Sleep is new noir with panache. Coming in March, I think. Check it out.

Seven New Wonders of the World

Seven new wonders of the world - environment - 02 January 2009 - New Scientist

Including 750,000-year-old ice cubes.

Desperados of the West

Friday, January 02, 2009

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Obviously this wasn't in Sheriff Dan Rhodes's county.

New Texas sheriff closes jail amid FBI probe | Top Stories | "Jack McGaughey, district attorney for Montague, Clay and Archer counties, declined to say what prompted the investigation, also being conducted by the Texas Rangers. But he said authorities found contraband in the Montague County Jail.

He also said some surveillance cameras' cords had been disconnected; recliners were in cells; some bathrooms and cells could be locked from the inside; and inmates had made partitions out of paper towels to block jailers' view inside their cells. One alarming discovery was a type of rack made of nails, he said."

And Yet PUSHING DAISIES was Canceled

'CONFESSIONS OF A TEEN IDOL' GIVES AGING TEEN STARS A COMEBACK CHANCE - New York Post: "VH1's new 'Confessions of a Teen Idol' brings together a house full of former teen idols - guys who were once so famous, so beloved and so bedazzling that they literally couldn't go out of their homes without being mobbed by scores of panting teen girls; guys who now, however, have fallen so far into obscurity that the only people who ask for their autographs are their ex-wives - on their alimony checks."

I never even heard of any of these guys except for Atkins.

Clovis People Update

Gems Point to Comet as Answer to Ancient Riddle: "Something dramatic happened about 12,900 years ago, and the continent of North America was never the same. A thriving culture of Paleo-Americans, known as the Clovis people, vanished seemingly overnight. Gone, too, were most of the largest animals: horses, camels, lions, mammoths, mastodons, saber-toothed cats, ground sloths and giant armadillos.

Scientists have long blamed climate change for the extinctions, for it was 12,900 years ago that the planet's emergence from the Ice Age came to a halt, reverting to glacial conditions for 1,500 years, an epoch known as the Younger Dryas.

In just the last few years, there has arisen a controversial scientific hypothesis to explain this chain of events, and it involves an extraterrestrial calamity: a comet, broken into fragments, turning the sky ablaze, sending a shock wave across the landscape and scorching forests, creatures, people and anything exposed to the heavenly fire."

Bid Early and Often

Big Bopper's casket a macabre marketable on e-bay >> - Local: "Rock 'n' roll's most macabre historical artifact will go on the block when the family of the late 1950s pop star J.P. 'The Big Bopper' Richardson auctions his casket on eBay sometime in the next few weeks - almost 50 years after 'the day the music died.'

The Big Bopper's 16-gauge steel casket was exhumed last year from his original grave at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Beaumont so it could be moved to a more visible location with a life-sized statue and historic marker. The disinterment also offered forensic experts a chance - with his family's blessing - to examine the pop singer's unautopsied remains after his death in rock 'n' roll's first great tragedy."

Uncle Sam Wants You

War Vet, 50, Stunned By New Deployment - Nashville News Story - WSMV Nashville: "MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- A veteran who has been out of the military for 15 years and recently received his AARP card was stunned when he received notice he will be deployed to Iraq.

The last time Paul Bandel, 50, saw combat was in the early 1990s during the Gulf War."

Math Solves Beatles Mystery

Beatles Unknown "A Hard Day's Night" Chord Mystery Solved Using Fourier Transform: "It’s the most famous chord in rock 'n' roll, an instantly recognizable twang rolling through the open strings on George Harrison’s 12-string Rickenbacker. It evokes a Pavlovian response from music fans as they sing along to the refrain that follows:

'It’s been a hard day’s night
And I’ve been working like a dog'

The opening chord to 'A Hard Day’s Night' is also famous because, for 40 years, no one quite knew exactly what chord Harrison was playing."

Mike Ripley's L:atest Shots Magazine Column Now On-Line

Click here. As always, full of news and goodies.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Today's 2-for-1 cars deals are on... Subarus in Texas? - Autoblog: "We've seen a few 'buy one, get one' deals over the last year or so, but it generally involves two cars that the average enthusiast wouldn't have much interest in. Now, David Thomas, owner of Subaru of Plano (that's a suburb of Dallas, TX), has instituted just such a deal for a couple of all-wheel drive Subarus in the form of a free Impreza (okay, so it's $1.00) with the purchase of a Subaru Outback. That's more like it, right? We're sure that there are numerous fine print details to go over, but the gist of it is that you'll pay full price for an Outback and a buck plus tax, title and license for the Impreza, after which you can drive the Impreza for two years with zero payments. Assuming that the resale value of the Subaru Impreza remains solid, Thomas maintains that the deal will still make him some money. Those wanting to take Thomas up on the offer have until January 2nd to do so."

Lest We Forget

There are quite a few books by Donald E. Westlake that aren't generally read by his fans. Earl Kemp lists 28 of the "Alan Marshall" titles in his online fanzine. There were also several done as "Edwin West," and some others as well. Lawrence Block has reprinted some of his sleaze titles, but Westlake never did, as far as I know. Kemp's list will give you something to look for. - Earl Kemp: e*I* Vol. 3 No. 2: "Donald Westlake says he wrote 28 sleaze paperback books prior to 1962, mostly under the pseudonym of Alan Marshall (Alan Marsh). Following, by year, is a list of published Alan Marshall novels. This list is made in an effort to identify those 28 acknowledged Alan Marshall Donald E. Westlake novels and a few other confirmed writings. This list is limited to Marshall books published prior to 1965 and has every possibility of being wrong as well as missing some titles that should be included."

Top 50 Special Effects Shots

Top 50 movie special effects shots - Den of Geek: "There's more to a great visual effects shot than iconic status, and here are fifty that really paid their way..."

Forgotten Books: AFTER THINGS FELL APART -- Ron Goulart

Ron Goulart is a pulp scholar, comic-book scholar, and fiction writer. He's been writing for a long time now, and he's done dozens of books, including some straight mysteries and quite a few that are SF mysteries.

The best of the latter, I think, is After Things Fell Apart, which was published in 1970 and set a few decades in the future, after things have fallen apart. Maybe now. Jim Haley is a private-eye who works for The Private Inquiry Office in San Francisco. In this case, his inquiries lead him to such places as "the wide-open sin town of San Rafael, run by the amateur Mafia (no Italians allowed) and "the Nixon Institute, where aging rock stars reminisce about the days when they still had hair."

I've heard some people say that Goulart's humor is an acquired taste. If so, I acquired it long ago. Well before 1970, even, and I found this book hilarious, also a little touching and sad. The satire is as sharp today as it was nearly 40 years ago. The book comes complete with raves from writers such as Philip K. Dick, and it was nominated for an Edgar, so surely I'm not alone.

The Phantom Creeps

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Donald E. Westlake, R. I. P.

Damn and double damn. Terrible loss, terrible way to begin the year.

Donald E. Westlake, Mystery Writer, Is Dead at 75 - Obituary (Obit) - "Donald E. Westlake, a prolific, award-winning mystery novelist who pounded out more than 100 books and five screenplays on manual typewriters during his half-century career, died Wednesday night. He was 75.

Mr. Westlake collapsed, apparently from a heart attack, as he headed out to New Year’s Eve dinner while on vacation in San Tancho, Mexico, said his wife, Abigail Westlake."

Mother of Mercy, Could This Be the End of the Pop Culture Magazine?

New York Times sued over's linking practice | Digital Media - CNET News: "A publisher of mostly small, local newspapers has sued the New York Times Co. over its aggregation of news headlines on, challenging the practice many sites use of linking to other sources.

In its lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts on Monday, Fairport, N.Y.-based GateHouse Media, which publishes more than 100 papers in Massachusetts, accuses the Times of violating copyright by allowing its Boston Globe online unit to copy verbatim the headlines and first sentences from articles published on sites owned by GateHouse, including the Newton Tab."

Top 10 Post-Apocalypse Rides

Click here.

Happy Birthday, J. D. Salinger!

Books - Still Revered for ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ and the Glass Family, J. D. Salinger Remains Elusive at 90 - "[Today], J. D. Salinger turns 90. There probably won’t be a party, or if there is we’ll never know. For more than 50 years Mr. Salinger has lived in seclusion in the small town of Cornish, N.H. For a while it used to be a journalistic sport for newspapers and magazines to send reporters up to Cornish in hopes of a sighting, or at least a quotation from a garrulous local, but Mr. Salinger hasn’t been photographed in decades now and the neighbors have all clammed up. He’s been so secretive he makes Thomas Pynchon seem like a gadabout."

The Catcher in the Rye spoke to me like no other book I read in the 1950s. No doubt it's lost much of its effectiveness for youngsters over the years, but to me it will always be one of the greats.

The Rocketeer

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I never make resolutions, mainly because I know it's no used. If I made one, I'd just break it then next day.

I'm not much of a party animal, either. I suspect I'll be asleep tonight long before the new year comes sneaking into Alvin on little cat feet. Don't think I'm such a slug, though. I'll probably be up before 6:30 tomorrow morning and out for the morning jog of three or four miles within the hour.

If this is a time for memories of auld lang syne, I can remember the days when I could easily run three miles at an eight-minute pace. Now, it takes me longer. A lot longer. Age slows a fella down against his will Some of you knew that already. The rest of you will find out, eventually.

The year 2009 has been a hectic one for us here in Alvin. Judy's lymphoma, the death of Judy's mom, Angela's wedding, Hurricane Ike. My hope is that 2009 will be a lot calmer for us and for the whole world.

And for all the readers of this blog, no matter where you are, I wish the very best of everything in 2009, health and happiness all around. Thanks for reading the blog and for buying my books. Here's to you.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Dallas woman rents billboard in desperate job hunt | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Dallas News: "Here's a sign of the times: A Dallas woman has taken her job search to a billboard over North Central Expressway.

Juli Sarpy paid $1,200 for a three-day ad promoting a 'savvy chic stylopolitan fashion guru.'"

2008's Banned Words List

Mich. University Puts Out Banned Words List - Detroit Local News Story - WDIV Detroit: "While the economy is weak, the state of the nation's cliche-busting brigade is strong. And the aggrieved have submitted their nominations to Lake Superior State University, which released its annual List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.

The school in Michigan's Upper Peninsula released its 34th version Tuesday containing 15 entries selected from about 5,000 nominations."

12 Great Science Fiction Movies From The 1960s - The List Universe

12 Great Science Fiction Movies From The 1960s - The List Universe

The Best "Year in Review" You'll See Today

CROOKED #1 is here...

Eastern Standard Crime: CROOKED #1 is here...: "CLICK HERE for Issue #1 of the new crime fiction web zine CROOKED featuring short stories from Sandra Seamans, Albert Tucher, Kaye George, Michael S. Chong, Eric Beetner, Cormac Brown and Sandra Ruttan. Also included is an interview with Charles Ardai."

Paris Hilton Saves the World (or at least Australia)

Party girl Paris defends Australian shopping spree: "American socialite Paris Hilton has declared herself a saviour who shops for the greater good in tight economic times.

In Sydney to host an exclusive New Year's dance party, the 27-year-old heir to the Hilton hotel fortune this week drew criticism for spending 5,560 Australian dollars (3,844 US dollars) in a 40-minute shopping spree.

Local charities accused her of callous excess but Hilton Wednesday defended the splurge.

'I'm in Australia, I think it's important to help out, you know, the economy out here, everywhere in the world,' she told reporters, ahead of her New Year engagement."

The Phantom

Lesbian Vampire Killers

First mentioned here about a year and a half ago. Now there's a trailer, spotted by the ever-alert Jeff Meyerson.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Officials: No health risk from sewage that leaked into Lewisville Lake creek | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Latest News: "State environmental inspectors expect no risks to human health from raw sewage that leaked into a creek feeding Lewisville Lake.

Officials suspect that 9 million gallons of sewage possibly spilled into Stewart Creek in Frisco over the past two weeks. But inspectors say initial testing of the lake water revealed normal conditions."

This Year's Additions to the National Film Registry

'Terminator' joins Film Registry - Entertainment News, Film News, Media - Variety: "“The Asphalt Jungle,” “Sergeant York,” “In Cold Blood,” “Deliverance” and “The Terminator” are among the 25 film titles selected this year by the Library of Congress for inclusion in its National Film Registry.

The Registry is Library of Congress’ film preservation initiative, designed to ensure that pics that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant will be preserved for all time. As always, this year’s selections range from classics to obscure gems such as “Disneyland Dream,” a Connecticut family’s 1956 home movie of their trip to Disneyland after winning a contest sponsored by Scotch Brand Cellophane Tape."

The list also includes The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad.

Get a Copy of Mystery Scene -- For Free!

Hey everyone,

We're offering free sample issues of Mystery Scene at our website. Would you please help spread the word?

All anybody has to do is go to and request one, no obligation.

This offer is good until I can walk through our office again.

Kate [Stine]

From Richard Helms

I just wanted to drop a note to let everyone know that the (long-delayed) new issue of The Back Alley Webzine will go active on December 31!

This is our All-Canadian issue, featuring authors from the land of Labatts and back bacon. Featured authors include Derringer Award Winner Nick Andreychuk, Art Montague, Claude Lalumiere, Jason S. Ridler, Steve Olley, and Matthew Fries. We'll also have a reprint of a 1914 article from the New York Times reviewing and discussing Frank Norris's first novel, VANDOVER AND THE BRUTE, and Part Four of our serialization of Norris's massive 1901 naturalistic proto-noir work, McTEAGUE.

The Back Alley Webzine ( ) is your one-stop shop for hardboiled and noir works by both established and emerging voices in the field. Check out our new All-Canadian issue beginning tomorrow, December 31, and have a terrific New Year!

Freddie Hubbard, R. I. P.

Jazz great Freddie Hubbard dead at 70 - Yahoo! News: "LOS ANGELES – Freddie Hubbard, the Grammy-winning jazz musician whose style influenced a generation of trumpet players and who collaborated with such greats as Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, died Monday, a month after suffering a heart attack. He was 70."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

In east Fort Worth, taking aim at a new wave of panhandling | News | "FORT WORTH — Pushed off street corners, out of parking lots and away from stores, some panhandlers have started going door to door."

National, er, Texas Treasure

Treasure ship near Refugio? Californian fighting to dig for it | Front page | - Houston Chronicle: "If Nathan Smith's plan to search for a buried treasure near the Texas Gulf Coast using Google Earth and a metal detector sounds like a Hollywood movie, it should.

After all, Smith, a California musician, was inspired by the hit National Treasure movies starring Nicolas Cage. And like any good swashbuckling flick, there's a dramatic tale — this one involving cannibalized 19th-century sailors who supposedly left the pot of gold and silver behind in Refugio County in South Texas."

Worst Economic Predictions and Pronouncements of 2008

The Worst Predictions About 2008 - Yahoo! News: "Here are some of the worst predictions that were made about 2008. Savor them -- a crop like this doesn't come along every year."

Salt River -- James Sallis

Salt River is a philosophical novel posing as a crime novel, or maybe it's the reverse. Let's just call it a novel, third in a series about John Turner, former convict, former counselor, current sheriff of a small, dying town somewhere near Memphis. There are crimes in the book, and there's violence, but there's no real resolution to things.

Maybe that's one of the points. We keep losing things in life, people keep dying, and we want it to stop, just as Turner does. But it doesn't stop, and when you come right down to it, there's not a lot we can do about it other than endure, if we can even do that.

Sounds bleak, right? And it is. When it comes to putting his characters through hell, Sallis yields to nobody, not even Ken Bruen, and like Bruen, Sallis presents it all in beautifully poetic prose in a very short novel, sounding an elegiac note throughout. You have to wonder why a lot more people aren't on the Sallis bandwagon. He's one of the best writers around.

Paging Dick Tracy

LG will introduce a wrist phone at CES next year : Dealerscope: "As the smart phone category continues to grow, one manufacturer is taking the handset in a surprising new direction- off the hand altogether.

According to an IDC News Service report this week, LG will debut the first-ever wrist phone at CES next month. The LG-GD910, which will debut in Europe and eventually elsewhere, is based on a prototype introduced at last January's CES. It includes a 1.4-inch touchscreen display, as well as buttons down the side."

P. G. Wodehouse Update

What ho, Jeeves, they’ve found our ancestors - Times Online: "The story features an aristocrat and a butler — yet the faithful old servant exerts a subtle mastery over his boss.

The familiar-sounding duo are not Jeeves and Bertie Wooster, but characters created earlier in a similar style by the same writer, PG Wodehouse.

The story, Providence and the Butler, can be read in full in today’s Sunday Times Magazine for the first time since 1910.

It has been lost since it was published in a literary magazine produced by the Washington Herald when Wodehouse was 29 and working for thePlum” Wodehouse’s work, it shows some of the thinking behind not just the Jeeves and Wooster stories but also the Blandings Castle books, begun in 1915 and also set in an ancient stately home."

Gator Update (Mystery Edition)

Mystery alligator puzzles Australians | "Finding a crocodile on the Australian south coast is strange. Finding an American alligator there is even stranger.

So police assumed they had a crocodile, a native of Australia's tropical north, when vacationers caught a reptile in a volleyball net late Monday that had been wandering around their campsite in Pambula, New South Wales.

State police on Tuesday corrected an initial press statement to explain that the 5-foot (1.5-meter) reptile was, in fact, an alligator."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The Shadow

Monday, December 29, 2008


A love story (with robots), a dandy science fiction yarn, lots of laughs, plenty of heart, and great animation. All in the same movie. I had a great time watching it.

It's hundreds of years in the future. WALL *E is essentially a trash compactor, the last of his kind. He mashes metal into cubes and stacks the cubes, day after day. But there's more. He's developed, or has always had, consciousness. He saves certain things (a lighter, a Rubik's cube, and so on). He has a companion (a cockroach). One day a spaceship delivers EVE, a robot looking for signs of plant life. WALL *E falls for her, and he has the only living plant on Earth. After that, things get complicated, with chase scenes, rogue robots, a HAL counterpart (voiced by Sigourney Weaver), and more.

I should mention that there's very little dialog, but even if there were less, you'd have no trouble at all following things. Steve Stilwell told me I should see this on the big screen. I'm sorry I didn't, but I'm glad I finally saw it.

The Stars of TOP GUN Then & Now

'Top Gun': Where are they now?

New to the Blog List

George Kelley's new blog has been added to the blog list on the right. His first post is a review of the concluding novel in E. C. Tubb's Dumarest of Terra series.

New Issue of Mysterical E Now On-Line

Click here for the ToC.

Long, Long Ago . . .

. . . 1960, in fact, in a galaxy far, far away, I had a date on December 29 with a girl named Judy Stutts. Who knew it would last this long?

Paris Hilton Update

Paris Hilton Oops - Paris Hilton Quotes and Facts - Esquire: "Twenty pearls of wisdom from the heiress on her goals ('be a blond icon'), her living ('be famous'), her daughters ('don’t... give the middle finger'), her legacy ('I don't know'), and the real Paris ('one of the most down-to-earth people I know')."

Hat tip to Todd Mason.

Behind the Mask

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ann Savage, R. I. P.

iWon News - '40s femme fatale star Ann Savage dies at 87: "LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ann Savage, who earned a cult following as a femme fatale in such 1940s pulp-fiction movies as 'Detour,' has died at 87.

The actress died in her sleep at a nursing home on Christmas Day from complications following a series of strokes, said her manager, Kent Adamson.

Her Hollywood career had largely been over since the mid-1950s, but she had a resurgence over the past year with a starring role in Canadian cult filmmaker Guy Maddin's 'My Winnipeg.'

Starting with her 1943 debut in the crime story 'One Dangerous Night,' Savage made more than 30 films through the 1950s, including Westerns ('Saddles and Sagebrush,''Satan's Cradle'), musicals ('Dancing in Manhattan,''Ever Since Venus') and wartime tales ('Passport to Suez,''Two-Man Submarine')."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

eBay Item of the Day

Pocket-sized vampire slaying kit.

Or this one if you're into the cheaper, full-sized version.

Now on MySpace . . .

Mexican outlaws' fans honor them on MySpace, Facebook | World | - Houston Chronicle: "There was a time that Mexican outlaws knew they'd reached a special level of notoriety when countrymen penned ballads bragging of their exploits.

Now, they get MySpace pages.

A new breed of crime fan is turning to the Web to humanize drug capos and glorify their deeds.

MySpace is home to the most extravagant tributes, but lower-profile pages have also been created on the rival Facebook. In most cases, profiles are written as though the drug boss himself is the profile creator."